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Slow Love: Job Loss, Depression, Pajamas, And Happiness

Slow Love.jpgFrom the “unsubstantiated evidence” files, I wanted to share with you a quick light that popped on in my head while reading a much-discussed article from last weekend’s New York Times Magazine.

In it, former House & Garden magazine editor Dominique Browning vividly shares her experiences following the folding of the magazine in 2007. This long-form essay is adapted from her upcoming book, Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas, and Found Happiness.

Much can be discussed about her experiences, but I was particularly struck by the account of her response to her newfound freedom:

“In this way, being unemployed is a lot like being depressed. You know how there are millions (O.K., a handful) of things you swear you would do if you only had the time? Now that I had all the time in the world — except for the hours during which I was looking for work — to read, write, watch birds, travel, play minor-key nocturnes, have lunch with friends, train a dog, get a dog, learn to cook, knit a sweater, iron the napkins and even the sheets, I had absolutely no energy for any of it. It made no difference that music and books and nature had long been the mainstays of my spirit. Just thinking about them exhausted me. I had absolutely zero experience in filling weeks — what if it became years? — with activity of my own choosing. Being unemployed meant being unoccupied, literally. I felt hollow.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*

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